Nov. 22, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Tulane scored the last four points of the game and a Jordan Brickman desparation three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the Green Wave escaped Annapolis with a 57-55 decision over the Navy men's basketball team on Tuesday night.
The loss dropped Navy to 2-3 overall, while Tulane, which had won its previous three games by an average of 25 points per game, improved to 4-0 overall.
"Our kids fought and competed against a very good team. I thought Tulane was the best team we have played this year so far and they are very talented. Our kids bought into what we were trying to do with our gameplan tonight and gave a great effort," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We had chances down the stretch, but we turned it over too much late in the game. You can't do that in a one-possession game. We are young and learning."
Navy led 55-53 with 4:24 to play on a Jordan Sugars (Sr. / Winchester, Va.) jumper in the lane, but failed the score the rest of the way, going 0-of-5 from the floor with two turnovers. Tulane took a 56-55 lead with 1:59 to play on a Josh Davis lay-up but made just 1-of-4 free throws down the stretch to leave the door open. The Mids got several good looks at tying the game, but a J.J. Avila (Fr. / McAllen, Texas) three-pointer with 10 seconds left was off the mark and Tulane corralled the rebound.
After Tulane's Ricky Tarrant missed two free throws with 4.7 seconds left, Brickman's three-point heave from just inside the half-court line was just off the mark giving Tulane the two-point decision.
"We have to make plays and that every possession is so important. We didn't block out on a free throw and that is two points right there," said DeChellis. "Hopefully, it doesn't come down to that. We are trying to get the guys to understand how important each possession is on offense and defense."
Tulane jumped out quickly, surging to a 10-0 lead just three minutes into the game, but the Midshipmen responded with an 11-0 run to take an 11-10 lead with 11:24 to play in the first half. Navy would lead by as many as four in the first half (22-18 with 3:15 to play) and held a 29-28 advantage at halftime, despite making just 8-of-24 (.333) shots in the opening 10 minutes.
Tulane started the second half the same way it started the first half, making its first four shots and turning a one-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead (39-34) with 17:22 to play on the strength of a 11-5 spurt.
Tulane would still lead 49-42 with 11:24 to play, when Brickman (Jr. / San Antonio, Texas) scored five straight points and Donya Jackson (Fr. / Baltimore, Md.) connected on his first career three-pointer to regain Navy's lead at 50-49 with 10:08 to play.
Brickman, starting just his second game of his career and was playing in just his fifth career game, had a game-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting with two rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes of action.
"Jordan has done a good job. We are trying to get him to be more vocal. We brought him out of retirement and he has tried to do the things we ask him to do," said DeChellis. "He had a nice game tonight and we think he can get better. As he gets more comfortable and I stop yelling at him in practice, he might calm down more and do some good things for us. We are really happy that he has decided to come out here and give it a go."
Navy shot 17-of-44 (.386) from the field, was 5-of-19 (.263) from three-point range and 16-of-23 (.696) from the free throw line. The Mids were outrebounded by one, 34-33, and had 15 turnovers to Tulane's 14. The Green Wave shot 21-of-53 (.396) from the field, 6-of-23 (.261) from three-point range and 9-of-16 (.563) from the free throw line.
Sugars added 13 points and six rebounds while Avila scored 13 points with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Worth Smith (Fr. / Charlotte, N.C.) scored five points with nine rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench and Isaiah Roberts (So. / Pennsauken, N.J.) scored seven points with two assists.
Navy returns to action on Friday when it travels back to Albany, N.Y., to face the University of Albany at 4:00 pm. The game will be aired on the radio on WNAV (1430 AM / 99.9 FM) with Pete Medhurst handling the call.
# GO NAVY #